Book Review: Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe

Let me preface with this disclaimer: I love small-town stories. But especially small-town Texas. Why? Because I was raised in a small community, quite like the one found in author Jodi Thomas’s Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe.

So many people despair of small-town life, having lived under close scrutiny and the long memories which often accompany such. Yet don’t we all eventually long to “go home” in a sense? Even if the people’s faces have changed, and it truly won’t ever be the same. There is a comfort and familiarity in these havens from the stress of the big city life. It is certainly a comfort to me and it’s why I always come back to these wonderful “small-town” stories.

If you’ve been following my blog and reviews for a while, you may know the drill. To all newbs, welcome! I love to write, read, and read some more. I read everything from non-fiction biographies and histories, from children’s lit to romance. But my great love is epic fantasy and historical novels. I’m a mother to a four-year-old filled with endless questions about everything, and I’m doing my best to raise him to think for himself while respecting others. I’m no one really special, but I love sharing the books I discover. And I love reviewing for Lone Star Lit.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our adventure in reading, writing, and life so far. Above all, I hope you find something to take away from today’s literary highlight, be it another addition to your TBR, or a brand new copy 😉 Keep reading for my review, and your chance to win a copy of Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe.

BREAKFAST AT THE HONEY CREEK CAFE

A HONEY CREEK NOVEL

by JODI THOMAS

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Zebra

Publication Date: May 26, 2020

Number of Pages: 336 pages

Scroll down for the giveaway!


Synopsis

From Jodi Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Mornings on Main and Indigo Lake, comes this heartwarming new novel set in Honey Creek, Texas—a small town where family bonds and legends run deep, and friendship and love are always close at hand . . .

Piper Jane Mackenzie, mayor of Honey Creek, won’t let a major scandal rip her quirky hometown apart or jeopardize her dream of one day running for higher office. So she’s willing to welcome undercover detective Colby McBride, hired to help solve the mystery behind her wannabe fiancé’s disappearance. Colby’s cover? That he is an old boyfriend now begging Piper for a second chance—always when there are plenty of townsfolk around to witness his shenanigans.

Piper hardly knows whether to laugh or cry, especially when she finds herself drawn to the handsome rascal. He’s not the only newcomer she has to deal with. There’s a new interim preacher in town, Sam Cassidy. Drifting from one assignment to another since his one love died, Sam isn’t sure he’s the right fit for Honey Creek. But as Piper knows, this is a place chock-full of surprises. And if she can keep her town—and her heart—from going completely off the rails, there may be a sweet, unexpected future in store . . .


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Review

5 of 5 Stars

Welcome to Honey Creek, Texas, founded by outlaws and misfits, and safe haven for outsiders like former firefighter Sam Cassidy. Sam comes to town like an Old West hero, seeking a quiet and meaningful life, only to find the Mayor in the midst of scandal, with romance and danger lurking around every corner. But this isn’t just Sam’s or Mayor Piper Mackenzie’s story, it’s about a community of people you can’t help wanting to be a part of. As with most small-town stories, the townsfolk are what make the book. Thomas has crafted excellent caricatures of people we already know. From the busybody secretary who thinks she runs the town, to the trio of greeters at the church, and the lonely old rich man down the road. These are people you knew once upon a time, and the author allows us to meet them again in Breakfast at the Honeycreek Café

Our stars include aforementioned Sam Cassidy, the interim preacher, alongside Mayor Piper Mackenzie and State Trooper Colby McBride.  I love how the author takes time to give each character dimension and rewarding story arcs. The romance and dialogue are quirky, fun, and engaging. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the premise, but I was pleasantly surprised by the unexpected direction Jodi Thomas took these characters. Our preacher protagonist’s credentials are a little over the top, but it’s soon clear every character in Honey Creek is larger than life in funny ways. In fact, much of Breakfast at the Honeycreek Café reads like a social commentary, a la Austen. The people and the place are somewhat surreal, like an impressionists painting, but under their painted layers are startlingly real bones. Yet it’s clear from the beginning that everyone has a part to play, from Pecos, the earnest teen, to Daily, the town drunk. All are pieces to the overarching mystery of just what happened to the mayor’s boyfriend?

What truly makes this a five-star read for me (besides excellent characterization) was the author’s ability to turn a phrase. I can’t think of another book I’ve read this year that made me laugh with lines like: “A coven of witches reportedly ran the local bakery. No one knew for sure, but they made great scones.” Thomas also shows a keen sense of the layers that make up a person through clever character descriptions like: “From his stance to his slight twang, the man before her seemed pure Texan. He might be the type who said “yes, ma’am” to the ladies and fought his way out of a bar at midnight.” 

For everyone who doesn’t quite fit into the mold society has made for them, Jodi Thomas has created a place anyone can feel at home. I know I’ll be eager to read more books from this author. Perfect for fans of clever dialogue, rich characters, and fans of “that small-town feel,” I urge you to take a chance on Breakfast at the Honeycreek Café. Thomas sums up the feel for Honey Creek as Mayor Mackenzie reflects, “She wasn’t made for a small town, not in her dreams anyway. But this place flowed through her veins, slow and steady as the Brazos River wound around the city limits. Low as the wind blowing down the valley whispering of legends of outlaws and ghosts.”

**I was provided with a copy of Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafe by the publisher and this is my voluntary and honest review.**



MEET JODI THOMAS

With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels and countless short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world.

In July 2006, Jodi was the eleventh writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITAs to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller.

Thomas was honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and served sixteen years as the Writer in Residence at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas.

When not working on a novel, or inspiring students to pursue writing careers, Thomas enjoys traveling with her family, renovating an historic home, and “checking up” on two grown sons and four grandchildren.

 

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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!

ONE WINNER

One signed copy of Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café

MAY 12-21, 2020

(US ONLY)

A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY


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